Wednesday, 9 September 2009

'Ethical Consumer' - another Manchester success story

Twenty years ago (yes that heady year of 1989 again) two publications started out to help consumers apply ethical considerations to their purchases.

The more heavily promoted at the time was ‘New Consumer’ a relatively glossy publication based in London which I seem to remember folding in the 90’s (however I notice that the brand was revived in Scotland as a website + magazine – see here).

The other publication was the ‘Ethical Consumer’ based since its inception in Hulme, in Manchester. Founder members included a couple of Manchester Green Party members at the time, including Paul Harrison, the brother of Rob Harrison, who remains the editor of the magazine to this day. Deliberately less glossy than its rival, the Ethical Consumer survived the 90s and this month celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Associated with the magazine is the Ethiscore site where paid subscription opens the door to detailed reports on pretty much every type of product under the sun.

Unlike ‘New Consumer’ the Ethical Consumer refused to take paid adverts for a long time; when commercial pressures resulted in a change to accept advertising, the company entered a minefield of which advertisers it could accept and stay true to its position.

I have been a subscriber since it started, and found it useful on a number of occasions; I hope to join workers and other subscribers at a 20 year celebration. I also look forward to it continuing, and being around for the 40 year celebration!

Speeding up after the holidays

With August out of the way, the list of possible meetings to attend grows almost by the day.
Today, I am thinking of applying careful timing to attempt 3 in one evening:-.

Firstly a group called
OpenSpaces Co-op
are holding a Networking event in Hulme.
Then, there’s a meeting for the
Call to Real Action
campaign, and to round things off a meeting concerned with the threat of a massive Tesco development at the Old Trafford cricket ground, with people from Trafford Green Party and ‘Keep Chorlton Interesting’.

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